Whether you’re looking to set up a dog grooming van, cake shop pop-up or mobile bar service, you're likely going to need some funding to get your business up
Luckily, there are many grants and loans for start-ups and small businesses to apply for, which can make all the difference to your budding business. We share a few that are applicable to businesses that operate from a van.
Grants and Loans for Small Businesses
New Enterprise Allowance
If you're currently unemployed, but interested in starting your own business from a van, then the New Enterprise Allowance may be able to help you out. This grant provides a weekly allowance of £1,274 for 26 weeks, as well as a business mentor to provide guidance in setting up your business.
You're likely eligible for this grant if you or your partner are receiving any benefits, such as Universal Credit or Job Seekers Allowance.
Discover more about the programme by going to your local Jobcentre Plus or take a look at the Government page.
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme
While not technically a grant, the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is a useful opportunity for start-ups. SEIS encourages investors to invest in start-ups in the UK by offering tax relief to those who buy shares. Companies can receive a maximum of £150,000 through the scheme.
You need to be approved for SEIS status first, but this can help to attract investments in your van-based business start-up.
Simply Business – Business Boost
Simply Business gives away £25,000 to one lucky entrepreneur each year, with the grant intended to start, grow or revive a small business. You will need to submit an application providing details of the business and explaining why the Business Boost would help. Applications are open between the 17th of June to 17th of September.
You can apply on the Business Boost website.
The UK Government offers support to new businesses (less than 36 months old) with their Start-Up Loan. The loan can grant between £500 to £25,000 to help grow your business. On top of this, you will receive free support and guidance to help with your business plan.
All partners in your van-based business can apply individually for up to £25,000 each, with a maximum of £100,000 available per business.
Successful applicants for the loan will also get up to 12 months of free mentoring to help get your business up and running.
Grants for Construction and Trades Businesses
Lots of people who operate their business from a van work within the construction industry, or as a tradesperson. If you are looking for support for a construction start-up, then there are a few grants you can apply for.
I-Construct helps small and medium businesses (SMEs) in the construction industry access new business opportunities through grant funding, mentoring or access to supply chain development networks.
Grant funding between £1,000 and £20,000 is available for small or medium businesses to develop or launch new products and services.
You can find out more information about I-Construct on their website.
Start-Up Loan - British Business Bank
The UK Government start-up loan, which we mentioned above, is applicable for businesses that have been operating for less than three years. British Business Bank delivers the Government’s Start-Up Loans programme, and provide finance and support for businesses.
They have previously helped several construction business start-ups cover the costs of tools, machinery and materials.
Plug-in Van Grant
If you’re looking for a way to both save a bit of cash and save the planet, then choosing an electric vehicle for your business could be the way to go.
As part of the government’s goal to promote electric vehicles, this grant scheme offers 20% off the initial purchase price of N1, N2, and N3 class vehicles, up to the value of £8,000, which is subsidised by the government.
To be eligible, the vehicle you purchase must fulfil commercial performance criteria for its range and safety. Vans must have tailpipe emissions of 75g CO2/km or less, and achieve a zero-emission range of 10 miles for plug-in hybrid vans and 60 miles for fully electric vans to qualify.
The plug-in van grant is currently eligible for both plug-in hybrid vans and fully electric vans, and over 2,500 vans have been purchased through this scheme so far.
For businesses, a number of plug-in vans can also be purchased, with a grant of 35% off the purchase price paid for vehicles, up to a maximum of £5,000. Businesses can claim a total of 1000 plug-in van grants each year.
Find out more about the Plug-in Van grant on the Government website.
While a grant like this can be very helpful when purchasing a new vehicle, exploring used vans for sale can often be a more affordable choice.